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THE people of the area would have been taking on board everything in our stories about the decision by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to refer their findings about the Easter time flaring from the Fife Ethylene Plant in 2019 to the Crown Prosecution Service.
It certainly was a spectacular situation when a malfunction saw the area lit up for a considerable length of time, and for a shorter spell, black smoke poured from the flare stack along with noise.
As part of their commitment to ensuring that activities at the Mossmorran site stay within stated guidelines, SEPA undertook a thorough investigation into the period of flaring which lasted the best part of a week.
To get to the bottom line of what caused this period of unexpected flaring it was always going to take the organisation a considerable period of time to finalise its report as it had to undertake a number of tasks to add to its regular monitoring around the site.
Understandably the activists in the area were determined to see things develop more quickly, but two weeks ago the news that SEPA were to hand their findings to the Crown Prosecution Service to see if there are grounds for action against ExxonMobil, would have no doubt been welcomed by them.
Over the past few months, since it started up again after the team generation problem was sorted at FEP, things have been pretty uneventful.
The news that a new flare tip has been given the go-ahead by Fife Council will also help improve things, if flaring is needed by reducing any noise from Mossmorran during planned or unplanned flaring.
The £140m project to upgrade facets of the FEP site will also have a major impact on the operation of facility, but it will be interesting to see if any action is taken against the operators by the authorities for what occurred during 2019.
The activists will be desperate to see action taken and over the coming months we will find out if their hopes are realised.